One of the four professional specialties in psychology is industrial/organizational psychology. This specific profession deals with the numerous responsibilities associated with the world of business and industry (Weiten 20). Industrial/Organizational psychologists have the ability to run human resource departments, increase job satisfaction, recognize areas for improvement, and improve employee attitudes and morale (Weiten 20). Although this area of psychology accounts for a small amount of jobs in psychology, it is extremely beneficial to the success of businesses.
The government of the United States employs several industrial/organizational psychologists (IO’s) in order to help government employees overcome trying situations. For example, IO’s help “federal employees tackle guilt and other feelings experienced by those who make life-and-death decisions” (Wax-Thibodeaux). This helps federal employees to bounce back from traumatic situations and continue to make important governmental decisions. After the traumatic 9/11 attacks, the FBI used IO’s to refurbish the promotion process in the agency. These IO’s were able to find news way of identifying qualified managers and encouraged the agency to look for leadership ability in their managers (Wax-Thibodeaux). IO’s play an important part in the day-to-day operations of the United States government because they support government employees.
Industrial/organizational psychologists are also helping NASA develop the right team for its mission to Mars scheduled for 2030 (Novotney). Scott Tannenbuam and John Mathieu are “using a NASA grant to study how to best compose and develop a resilient, adaptive and self-sustaining team for long-duration space exploration” (Novotney). The research conducted by Tannenbuam and Mathieu is extremely important to the success of the team selected for the future space mission. As one can tell, industrial/organizational psychologists play an important role in the success of businesses.
Chapter 2 – Placebo Effects
Wayne Weiten defines a placebo as a substance that resembles a drug but has no actual pharmacological effect (Weiten 53). Many times placebos are given to a control group in an experiment in order to measure the effect of expectations on a person’s pain. According to Weiten, “placebo effects occur when participants’ expectations lead them to experience some change even though they receive empty, fake, or ineffectual treatment” (Weiten 53). Overall, the mind can be a powerful device that can change the outcome of a person’s behavior.
In one case, the placebo effect has been found to be just as effective at relieving a migraine headache as one of the most widely used migraine drugs (Stromberg). In the study conducted by Harvard Medical School the people who received the placebo pill labeled with the brand name received just as much pain relief as the people who took the actual brand name pill (Stromberg). In this...